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IRS Publication 1542

The IRS Publication that lists per diem rates for travel within the Continental United States (CONUS) is called IRS Publication 1542. IRS Publication 1542 contains all the domestic CONUS per diem rates established by the GSA for each individual locality and year. The tables display the meals and incidentals expenses (M&IE) for each locality.

Truck drivers who use the city-by-city method for calculating M&IE might use IRS Publication 1542 to find the per diem rates for each location they stayed.  Truckers may also elect to use the special rate for transportation workers, which is an easier way to calulate the per diem deduction because it does not require documenting the location of each rest area, although it may lead to a lower tax deduction.

NOTE: The OCONUS per diem rates are not contained within IRS Publication 1542. In addition to M&IE rates, lodging rates for each locality are also listed. Lodging rates are almost never used by truckers in their per diem deduction because the hotel costs are almost always covered by the trucker's employer.

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